Tall Ships® Brockville is the last port of call of the Tall Ships Challenge® Great Lakes Tour 2019 and is the culminating event during Brockville’s Big River Festival.
The Big River Festival is a week long celebration of our waterfront community with events happening at all of our waterfront attractions and throughout our parks. Big River festival is planned to be a world class water and cultural event. The Festival will be a celebration of life in the 1000 Islands on the mighty St. Lawrence River and all the attributes of living in a river city.
Preliminary Big River Festival Schedule:
Brockville Movies in the Park
A free, family-friendly outdoor movie screening series every Thursday night after sunset in Hardy Park. Enjoy a water-themed movie during the Big River Festival.
Guided Walking Tours
August 22 & 23
Brockville’s Criminal Past Walking Tours – Thursdays 3 p.m. & Fridays 7 p.m. June 20 – August 23
Explore Brockville’s criminal past on the Brockville Museum’s downtown walking tour. Hear some of the curious accounts from trials held at the local courthouse; learn about one of the largest bank heists in Canadian history, and discover exactly what happened to John Simpson’s skin, among other true stories.
Experienced and entertaining historical interpreters will be your hosts on this 90 minute journey. Tickets are only $8 per person and are available for purchase through SNAP’D or in person at the Brockville Museum. Parental discretion is advised. All tours begin and end at the Museum.
Historic Waterfront Walking Tours – Thursdays 7 p.m. & Fridays 3 p.m. June 20 – August 23
The St. Lawrence River has always held a special place in Brockville’s history. Once our industrial core, our shores have been transformed into the city’s recreational heart. Let one of the Brockville Museum’s entertaining and informed historical interpreters tell you some of the fascinating stories about our treasured waterfront.
Tours are approximately 90 minutes in length. Tickets are only $8 per person and are available for purchase through or in person at the Brockville Museum. All tours begin and end at the Museum.
Canine Watersports Canada: Canadian Dock Jumping Championships
Canine Watersports Canada is wet, wild, and most of all, wonderfully wholesome entertainment for every member of the family. A typical event features a dog-and-handler team atop a 36-foot dock, adjacent a 45-foot-long pool filled with water. Dogs fly through the air and land in the water with a dramatic—and occasionally audience-drenching—splash, after which the longest jumper is deemed the winner in several disciplines and divisions.
During the weekend, we will feature the Canadian Dock Jumping Championships, which highlights and reward those teams who have worked hard all season to become eligible to compete with the best in their division. Throughout the event we will be awarding the top 3 in each discipline, with beautiful jade maple leaf trophies, as well as rosettes. On Sunday we will be crowning CANADA’S 2019 ELITE CHAMPION – otherwise known as “the dog who can do it all”.
For those of you who would like to bring your dog to this event and give dock jumping a TRY, our dock will be open to you at specific times throughout the entire weekend!
Take a walk along the waterfront with your best friend and stop at The Roost Cafe and Creamery for “doggie ice cream”!
Brockville Farmers’ Market
August 24, 29, 31 & Sept 1
Market Street West
Locally grown produce and meats, local honey and maple syrup, local arts and crafts, home decor, clothing and more. Proud to offer 100% local produce!
Brockville Ghost Walks
Market Street West
Enjoy a special twist to the weekly ghost walk with a river theme – learn a few shipwreck stories and explore more of the waterfront with this Big River Ghost Walk.
Big River Night on Blockhouse Island
Blockhouse Island Parkway
Details TBD – please check back
Elvis – The Concert: starring Pete Paquette
August 28th at 8pm
August 29th at 2pm & 8pm
Brockville Arts Centre
Aquatarium After Dark
The Aquatarium at Tall Ships Landing, 6 Broad Street
Details TDB – please check back. Enjoy the Aquatarium after hours with a beverage in hand, the starry night experience when we turn the pilot house into a planetarium, 60 year old footage of the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway and more!
Red Hot & Blue Rockabilly Weekend
August 30-Sept 2
Blockhouse Island Parkway, Brockville Legion, and sites around Downtown Brockville
Shootout Fishing League – Solo Series
Shootout Fishing League will run a professional bass tournament on Saturday August 31. In addition a Kid’s Derby will be run and entrants will have a free hot dog lunch and prizes. Volunteers are needed to ride in boats in our competing anglers – this is a great opportunity to fish with the pros!
Brockville Tall Ships® Festival presented by Procter & Gamble
August 30-Sept 1
Brockville waterfront: Blockhouse Island Parkway, Centeen Park, Hardy Park
In 2019 the Tall Ships Festival is taking place for the final weekend of Big River Festival, and although this component will vary annually. Brockville will still proceed with TSCO every three years, but in off years would include our resident tall ships, The Fair Jeanne and Black Jack in the Big River Festival and bring in one other Tall Ship each year (dependent on grants).
Activities in the works at the Big River Festival:
Water Jousting (TBD)
A key component and a North American first will be the water jousting on retrofitted whaler boats. This unique sport is the subject of festivals in France and other parts of Europe where it attracts tens of thousands. Brockville is thrilled to have this opportunity to showcase a unique water sport that will be sure to be a fan favourite.
Light Up Blockhouse (TBD)
August 22-Sept 1
Blockhouse Island Parkway
Additionally the festival will have a Light Up Blockhouse Island component. Each year the theme will change for the lighting, but will give an ambiance and a family fun activity to do the Blockhouse Loop in the evening on land to see the lights, or from the water Brockville will be lit up in an interesting and artistic fashion each night during the festival.
Sunset Cocktails on Refugee Island (TBD)
Enjoy a cocktail as the sun sets on Refugee Island (one of Brockville’s municipally owned islands, found just off shore)
Live Streamed Tour of the Brockville Underwater Sculpture Park (TBD)
Live feed of an underwater performance in the St. Lawrence River – watch inside the theatre at the Aquatarium.
Hands on adventure sails with Brockville’s own tall ships: Fair Jeanne and Black Jack! Sign up for a tall ship adventure or stop by their activity zone outside of the Aquatarium during the Tall Ships Festival.
Guided Kayak Tour to the Islands (TBD)
with Dive Brockville Adventure Centre
Add these attractions to your Big River Festival visit:
The Aquatarium at Tall Ships Brockville
Visit our signature attraction: the discovery centre of the 1000 Islands. Special events and activities, including after hours events to be held during the Big River Festival.
The Brockville Railway Tunnel
Visit Canada’s First Railway Tunnel, open daily from 9am-9pm. Walk over half a kilometre through this man-made, underground tunnel and see it’s unique architectural features and natural geological features. All set to a light and sound show you don’t want to miss!
Can you escape the freight? Try out this escape room set in the old caboose at the waterfront outside of the railway tunnel’s south entrance. Show your tall ships festival passport and save on your escape experience!